Skimo Co

Petzl Swift RL Headlamp - 2023/24


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The Petzl Swift RL headlamp is for folks who prefer the swift methods of mountain travel and who need a light and ultra-bright lamp that stays lit for hours. Beaming out a cool 900 lumens, the Swift is bright enough to function as a spare headlight for your car, but unlike your car, the Swift doesn't weigh 1800 lbs. In fact, the Swift is the brightest and lightest and most fully-featured headlamp in Petzl's lineup. This lightweight lamp features Petzl's super-efficient REACTIVE LIGHTING technology, which senses the ambient light levels and adjusts its own output to fit the conditions. This technology ensures a longer burn time and will (hopefully) prevent you from blinding yourself or your partner at the transition or belay. If these aren't enough features for you, Petzl opted for a two-part strap that will keep things steady when you're dodging trees on the ski out, and did we mention that the Swift is micro-USB rechargeable? Upgrade your vision and join the future with the Petzl Swift RL headlamp.

  • With IPX4 weather resistance, you can confidently use the Swift in any weather (just don't drop it in a stream).
  • A reflective two-part headlamp keeps things stable no matter how fast you're moving.
  • The Swift can be switched between flood or mixed beam patterns on the fly.
  • A single easy-to-use button controls all functions of this headlamp.
  • Both REACTIVE and standard lighting types available.
  • Recharges via the micro-USB port in 6 hours.
  • Max light output of 900 lumens.

Update 2023/24: The Swift RL was revamped and can be found here.

Charging Time 6 hrs
Lumens 900 max
300 standard
100 minimum
convert to ounces
Battery Life In Reactive mode
2-30 hrs max
5-40 hrs standard
10-50 hrs min
Waterproof Rating IPX4
Specs Verified Yes
Skimo Co Says
Usage Night racing, dawn patrol, long traverses
Notes Reactive mode can be turned off
Bottom Line Super bright light in small compact package
Compare to other Headlamps

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Questions & Reviews

Question from Blake
Does the focused/spot beam work with Reactiv lighting? Mine does not. Just wondering if I can get 900 lumens and a spot beam or if it is just with the wide angle.
Answer from Lrow
Hi Blake,

Just blinded myself testing this with a coworker so I know what you mean; Reactive setting (with just pushing the button, then you can toggle through the settings) will be the higher lumens but only 1x bulb is active (spot beam). If you press and hold the button, that will turn on the non-reactive setting, but both bulbs will be active (wide angle). The non-reactive setting with both bulbs active is not going to be the stronger in lumens, it is less than 900.
Answer from Blake G
Sorry to put you through the blinding. Ha. Thanks for getting back. I also heard back from PETZL and putting your finger over the sensor still allows too much light in to activate the hi powered beam. I re-tested w a dark shirt over it and then at night and both LEDs worked. Was doing a deep dive on the manual as it really helps to know exactly how this headlamp functions and wasn’t sure on the different beams. Thanks for checking
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thomc (used product regularly)
This did not work out for me for overnight alpine at all. Were it not for my son's backkup, I would have been SOL last trip (I forgot my backup, bad dad.) This lost a charge and turned on too easily in my view. For non-critical applications this may be fine, but I don't generally use a headlamp except for critical situations. The lack of a red-eye light was also not great in such an expensive item. I have had between half a dozen and a dozen Petzl headlamps and this was the only one that did not work for my purposes.
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Question from Ellen
Can it be worn around a ski helmet
Answer from jbo
Hi Ellen, absolutely! Many of us use it at our night ski races.
Answer this question:

EG1 (downright abused product)
Love this lamp. Had (and still have) the Aktik Core for a while and while it served well for night skiing/skinning - this one is all the better because of the following:
- Great strap that secures well in more than just a headband fashion (grabs back of head)
- Excellent battery life and green dots showing how much you have left (really useful)
- Beam is more than enough at low power to guide you uphill - and on full power it is plenty to have a very comfortable ski back down

I own 2 of these now and some extra batteries - great lamp.
Comment on this review:

Benski (used product regularly)
Love this headlamp. Bright, lightweight, and adaptive all in one package, while still maintaining decent battery life.
I use it regularly to train at night and in the early mornings and it’s fine trail running and skiing. Given the weight, it’s a bit overkill for fast urban running, but also kinda nice to have the extra brightness on some urban paths.
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Anthony O (used product regularly)
Love this little guy. I use the gloworm when I want to do high speed night skiing or bike riding, but I use this petzl light more regularly as a daily headlamp and love the brightness to size/ease of use ratio. This is as bright as most users need, is well made and super easy to charge and use. Unless you are doing dedicated high speed night skiing then you don't need anything else. This is bright enough to ski fast and not having to carry an external battery like a gloworm make it a no brainer.
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Beth (downright abused product)
I love this headlamp too. When at its brightest setting, it's totally bright enough for nighttime touring and racing. I conserve a bit of battery by going to a dimmer setting on the uphill. I did snag a backup battery to keep a charged one in my pack if I do plan on needing light for several hours or more. I love that it's USB rechargeable ... I'm not wasting so many batteries.
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Travis (used product a few times)
So I love this lamp. I use it running (often in the rain) and touring after hours. It’s crazy bright, very adaptable to my need for powerful, but very lightweight, headlamp. Side comment, I’ve started to see the virtue of rechargeable headlamps as every time I head out I have max power, in like disposable battery headlamps that have a deplorable power depreciation curve. Recently bought a second battery for longer adventures where a backup would be helpful. Note it doesn’t have a red light and that you can easily turn off the reactive element to have a steady stream of light—very helpful when skiing while others are touring up.
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Model: Swift RL

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